Music That Inspires: Ten

Yes, I am one of those people who like Pearl Jam.

I do not remember the first Pearl Jam song I heard. The one that sticks in my mind is Jeremy, mostly because of the video, but I feel like I heard Alive or Evenflow first.

I consider Pearl Jam’s Ten a perfect album. I love every song. It has a special meaning for me because the summer of 1993. The album almost plays out exactly the that summer went. I remember listening to the songs and seeing parts of my life in the lyrics. The songs were not at all about the situations I experienced, but I saw them that way.

I also made my younger brother hate this album. I would make him listen to it, either by the stereo, headphones, or singing the songs. When moved in together years later, he banned from playing the album on anything he could hear. A running joke between us is that to annoy him I will sing the opening lines of GardenShe don’t wander in, don’t wander in here, she — which he usually follows up with something along the lines of “I swear to God….” and then offers a colorful threat. (Ironically, this is just happen. He heard me playing Evenflow and yelled at me, and now he is yelling at me and hitting me for adding this to the post.)

I think the reason I love the album is because of the raw energy of the music and lyrics. The way Eddie Vedder sings adds to this. He is similar to Bjork in that you cannot know what he will say next. It is as if he is finding the lyrics as he goes along.

Below of my favorite songs from the album. I ended up buying the European version of the album a few years ago to replace the original I left at home, which explains the inclusion of Dirty Frank. Continue reading